MOT MADE EASY



MOT


MOT is a compulsory annual check for all vehicles over 3 years old. This multi-point check establishes if the vehicle meets the minimum standards to be deemed roadworthy. We operate MOT testing from our Service Centres in Sandwich & Deal 6 days a week, so we've made it easy for you to ensure your MOT is always in date.



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Pre-MOT Checks

MOT Failure is common and nationally roughly 40% of MOTs fail first time. In many instances this initial failure can be avoided if some simple checks are conducted before the MOT is taken. Below is a list of common failures that can be easily spotted. Some you will be able to resolve yourself others will require a mechanic but you can have this work carried out prior to your MOT. Either way, sorting it before the test is usually cheaper.

Headlights and indicators

All of you lights must be functioning properly. Headlights and dipped, sidelights, rear lights, rear fog lights, hazard lights and indicators all need checking. For this it is much easier if you have someone with you. Whilst you are in the car operating the lights they can check if they are working.

Exhaust

Faults with your exhaust will not be as easy to notice but are worth checking. Start you engine and walk to the rear of the car. You will be looking or abnormal or excessive smoke or listening out for any unusual noises as these are indicator of a leak which would need to be fixed to pass an MOT.

Suspension

The easiest way to check your suspension is to quickly apply your body weight to each corner of the car then release – pushing it down towards the wheels. You will be looking for your car to quickly settle back. Excessive movement or noise will indicate a problem. Just as a note avoid putting your weight on the bonnet to avoided denting or misshaping it.

Brakes

Brakes are a common failure for MOT and largely because people don’t notice the degradation in performance of their brakes over a long period. The easiest way to test for this is to start with your handbrake. Is there any resistance when you pull it up and can it be ratcheted? If the answer is yes then great if not then you have a problem. The brakes themselves are harder to test but if they feel loose and unresponsive then this is a good indicator that they are not performing correctly.

Number plates

You don’t need to be a mechanic to tell if this is a pass or fail. Your number plate needs to legible from 20 meters so make sure it is clean by giving it a wipe over before its MOT. The font and spacing of the letters must also be compliant but unless you have customised your own number plate this shouldn’t be a problem.

Number plate

You don’t need to be a mechanic to tell if this is a pass or fail. Your number plate needs to legible from 20 meters so make sure it is clean by giving it a wipe over before its MOT. The font and spacing of the letters must also be compliant but unless you have customised your own number plate this shouldn’t be a problem.

Wheels and tyres

Your tyres need to have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread depth, which is a legal requirement outside of your MOT. You can check this with a 20 pence coin by placing the coin in the groove of the tyre. If you can’t see the outer rim of the coin your tyres are fine if you can they will need changing. As a note it is recommended you change your tyres at 3mm due to the drop in stopping distance when they get below this point. You should also look out for cracking of the rubber and ‘chucks’ out of the tyre as they must be undamaged.

Seats and Seatbelts

The driver's seat should adjust forwards and backwards and all seatbelts should be in good, working order. Test movement of the seat and inspect the seatbelt's full length for damage. Tug sharply on all seatbelts to check that they react as they’re supposed to if you have to brake severely.

Windscreen and Wipers

Your windscreen can have some damage but it is limited to certain size. Check the view out of the front of the car for damage – any damage larger than 40mm will cause a ‘fail’, as will any damage wider than 10mm in the ‘swept’ area of the windscreen in front of the driver. Make sure your wipers clean your windscreen and work in conjunction with the washers. Damage to the wiper blade rubbers can be an MOT fail. Top up the windscreen washer fluid prior to you MOT test. If this is empty it can cause a fail.

Fluids

Checking your vehicles fluid levels is good practice in general but essential prior to your MOT. Engine oil and Windscreen Washer Fluid will be checked during the MOT and brake fluid maybe checked as well. These are very easy to check prior to your MOT and any questions will be easily answered by checking the owner’s manual.

Horn

Give a short blast of the horn – if it doesn’t work, your dealer will need to repair or replace it.

Last Check

A last walk around of the car as a general once-over is often helpful. Make sure the fuel cap is secure; mirrors are in good condition and look out for anything that looks untoward. If you can spot it prior to the MOT and mention it to the garage that can help prevents an MOT failure.



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